Applying to a MMO Guild

I’m not currently playing a MMO, but I’ve had more experience in that area than I care to mention. Central to this genre it the social aspect: grouping together with 4-5 other other players to accomplish tasks. As you progress towards the endgame, groups lead to raids, where 20+ players join together. Depending on the game, things can get a little crazy, with 100+ people trying to take down an objective, and hopefully not the servers.

When you’re trying to cooperate with increasingly large numbers of people to accomplish a task, organization and leadership becomes key. Assuming you have those handled, you can still have your goals hindered by the quality of the people you have at your disposal. Good guilds are filled with good people, and this is primarily because they are selective. They enforce long recruitment periods, require references, inspect every nook and cranny of your gear for weakness, speak to your previous guild leaders, and dig up dirt from anybody who has ever heard your name in passing. If this is beginning to sound all too familiar, there’s a reason: applying to a good guild is just like applying for a job.

Every applicant to a decent guild posts their resume on the guild’s forum, detailing their past guilds, their gear, their specialization, their past gaming experience, their real-life commitments, and their expected time investment in the game. From there, guild members chime in with past experiences with the applicant, rumors they’ve heard, and analysis of their gear and specialization choices. If you pass this brutal gauntlet, you become a recruit, and thus begins the interview process.

The only real difference between a job interview and a guild interview is the length of time involved. An average job interview might last a few weeks, with perhaps 10-20 hours total spent interacting with people at the prospective company. A guild interview, on the other hand, usually involves 5 hours a night spent interacting with the guild, over a period of many weeks. You’re expected to show up with a smile on your face and a willingness to meet, help, and eventually befriend as many guild members as possible.

The members sometimes have more power over your acceptance here than the guild leadership, and a bad comment about you by a single member can hinder your application for weeks. I once had my application to a guild blocked due to a single guild member not liking me. Despite having half a dozen people who really wanted me in, I was forced to endure an extra 4 weeks as an applicant before being accepted.

In that same guild, I went on to become a guild officer and raid leader. That objecting member later went on to try joining a rival guild, only to be denied entry due to his reputation. This is by no means an isolated occurrence. Reputation online is just as valuable as in the real world. You never know when doing something distasteful will come back to haunt you. You also never know when a little help freely given will pay back tenfold.

The best guild I was ever in required 8 weeks as an applicant. I had to show good attendance at all raids, group with members at every opportunity so they could get to know me, meet certain minimum gear requirements, and generally perform at or above the standard for every current member. Honestly, I think it was harder to get into this guild than some jobs I’ve had. That said, I had more than enough fun with this guild to warrant what I had to go through. I can’t help but wonder what the workplace was like if the rigors of the interview process were like those of the MMO guild.

One Response to “Applying to a MMO Guild”

  1. [...] I’ve discussed before, applying to a good guild can be a serious proposition. I might be considered a little crazy and [...]

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